If you can relate to others in the way you would like them to relate to you it will improve confidence.
It’s easy to have negative thoughts for a person that appears different.
It’s good to see things from their perspective.
If 20 people have brown hair and one person has blue hair you tend to be drawn to them as being different.
If one person begins to comment about this difference it tend to be in a negative manner.
What if 18 people then change their hair colour to blue. That would leave one person with brown hair.
That one person now becomes the odd one out.
If someone appears different don’t make judgements upon their looks but upon their actions and behaviours.
It may be that if you don’t follow a trend but go the other way you are in fact generating a trend.
This is skill that many would do well to acquire.
There is nothing worse for an individual than a person who constantly interrupts and never appears to listen properly.
Take time (see The Complete Time Management package) to concentrate on what people are saying.
When you ask questions make them relate to the point in hand and make them open questions to encourage a full reply.
Closed questions can be answered by “yes” or “no”.
As you receive your replies try to build on them with additional questions which will stimulate more interest.
As you listen utilise good body language by nodding and leaning forward to show attention.
Don’t cross your arms in a defensive posture.
When you speak at intervals don’t repeat inane phrases that suggest you are just paying lip service, for example, “exactly”, “that’s right” etc. Don’t forget to smile.
When you are speaking and listening to someone you are making an effort to tune into their way of thinking and acting in order to better understand the way they feel as well as making a note of the meaning.
One way of doing this is to think about the relationship you wish to develop.
A normal relationship will go through stages in the same way that you meet anybody.
Initially you are trying to discover facts about the person gradually building up a trust that eventually may lead to friendship.
In the same way, you can look at the individual in this manner.
Decide how well you know the individual? What stage do you think you are at? Can you do anything else to gain trust and move the relationship up another stage? Whilst a little mechanical this approach may prove useful.
Listening skills can be used in a wider context.
When listening to conversations in general try to get a feel of the true underlying meaning of what is being said.
Is it constructive? Is it negative? Is it a long standing unresolved issue? Is it just gossip?
All behaviour is made up of choices.
It may be a simple choice of ‘A’ or ‘B’ or deciding on the preferred one from many.
Where people have to choose between something they want to do and something they feel they ought not to do there can be conflict.
Knowing that you have a choice gives you more confidence and increases motivation.
The choices in these circumstances come down to what is termed ‘will power’.
Every one has the will power to choose between good and bad behaviours but they don’t always exercise it.
If you are having trouble in this area try to break the behaviour down into manageable chunks.
In this way you may be able to recognise small gains until you reach a level that you wish.
By denying that you have any will power you are absolving responsibility for making any attempt at choosing.
Much of this is gained by developing self discipline; only you can make the choice.
If you feel that you lack the necessary will power just think of it as not having mastered the technique of choosing.
Once you think a little more clearly how to proceed your ‘will power’ will rise rapidly.
Everyone has habits to one degree or another but not everyone has those that may be detrimental to your well being and development.
Bad habits, like smoking and drinking to excess are not easy to modify.
People do these because from their perspective there is a benefit.
It is extremely hard to just stop a bad habit.
Instead, it’s much better to replace them with another behaviour that you wish to do even more.
It’s this replacement with a superior behaviour that helps you shed the old one.
Let’s assume you are a smoker.
If you went for cycle rides, walks and swam regularly and took in the fresh air you would begin to feel fitter.
At this stage you would probably not want to smoke at the same level as before; you would begin to cut back.
You may even do this without planning it in the first place. It becomes a side effect of a more beneficial behaviour.
We come across many negative items every day.
If we dwell on them the whole world seems gloomy and motivation drops.
Try to filter out what is truly negative and what is the good side of events.
Some people hate sunshine and the heat and love the rain and being cool.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
News on the television or in the newspapers is often sensational and gives an unrealistic view of the state of the world.
If you can draw the positives from a negative situation you will improve your own motivation.
It can be a good idea to avoid news programmes for a while.
Try doing this gradually particularly if you are naturally an emotional person.
If an item of news is truly important you are bound to find out about it.
The problem with news coverage at the moment is that it can be hard to decipher the real truth in some instances.
The practice of gaining viewers or a readership and supporting advertisers can make some broadcasters and other news reporting media exaggerate the truth somewhat.
Why not try letting others have the benefit of your skills and experiences?
You could try charity work or volunteer for coaching activities.
Get more involved with your children’s school.
Giving your time can give you a sense of well being which raises your own motivation and self esteem.
On occasion you may wish to give something anonymously.